Of Mice of Men unfolds around Lenny’s learning disability spiraling out of control to the backdrop of two friends striving to overcome their impoverished lifestyles during America’s Great Depression. George and Lenny are drifting ‘bums’, searching for their slice of the American Dream. The plain stage and bare props impressed upon the audience how dire the state of poverty was. A strong American twang in all of the actors’ voices told you that you were in America and the never-too-bright lighting reminded you that things were glum. Once you know where they are, it quickly becomes apparent that Lenny and George have been forced by Lenny’s mistakes to move ranches. Lenny was accused of raping a woman, and so to avoid lynching, they fled.
Like millions of other American men, their lives were plunged into poverty and hard labour by the Depression. But unlike these other men they depend on each other so retained their friendship. This unique companionship, coupled with the dream of owning land and personal space, is a glimmering thread of hope which resonates throughout the play, infecting other characters and raising the level of tragedy of the final fatal scene.
The characters were vividly brought to life by the fine cast, and there was something for everyone in this story, because it revolved around themes which most people can relate to; loneliness, loss and friendship.
Of Mice of Men is viewing in the Playhouse until November 17th
Article by Irene / 13th November 2012
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